Just Write – Depressive Thoughts

There’s a place I go when I close my eyes. I don’t know exactly where it is, or why I go there, but it exists and I do. A familiar environment that looks different every time I visit. My dreamscape. The place hidden behind my eyelids. This time, it wasn’t safe. I had to fight for survival earlier, but not before enjoying the benefits of interacting with other dreamers, me being lucid. Maybe…maybe it was my subconscious. Regardless, I knew I was asleep and made full use of my abilities. I think I got too excited and woke up early in the morning, but the depression put me right back to sleep.

I’ve…I have been feeling it a lot worse nowadays. Things that I have been trying to ignore are coming to the forefront. I was ignoring how I felt so well, only suffering briefly in moments that were real, but now? I feel terrible. They say your environment plays a part, but who knows. Part of me wants to just fix up this environment and get moving, but I don’t know if I’m capable. Rather, I’d rather indulge in the despair. Suffer first, reprieve later. All of the suffering is internal anyway. Looking at it, things are in my favor. There’s absolutely no other way to view it. Things aren’t the way I want them to be though…

I think that’s the issue. I don’t know what it is that I want. I don’t know what it is that I’m working toward. I have vague targets that I’m bound to hit and a general idea of what the future holds and the wherewithal to achieve those at a minimum. But my destination? That is the issue. Logically, I haven’t decided anything, but emotionally I have. I’ve tried to ignore it for the longest, but how could I? I seep nothing but emotion through my fingertips. It was for only so long that I could keep it from spilling into the places that it mattered: my head and my heart.

But who cares. I know thinking about it won’t change a thing. I know laying here won’t change a thing. I know feeling this won’t change a thing. Maybe that’s why the words I say won’t change a thing. I suppose it’s time for autopilot. To go back to the days where my body worked and my mind did not. I don’t think anyone could ever call that living, but it hurt a hell of a lot less. Given the internal circumstance, that’s the best I could ask for.

Expectations – Idle Thoughts

You know, I’m beginning to think I am starting to have expectations again. I don’t believe in those. The moment you have an expectation is the same moment in which you set yourself up for disappointment. Agree with me or don’t, I don’t really care either way, but let me ask you this: do you believe that this mindset leaves me bitter, sad and/or angry on a daily basis? I’ll give you the answer: it doesn’t. If that doesn’t make sense then that’s fine, but allow me to explain before you hold fast to your belief, either way, it swings.

An expectation is defined as a strong belief that something will happen. Typically, we expect that the sun will rise, we will wake, we will go on about our days, and then there will be a tomorrow with more of the same. Not the most glamorous description, but still true nonetheless. This is us expecting to live on a daily basis. There are very few reasons why we wouldn’t expect to wake up in the morning. Of course, not everything we expect is good. We all expect to die, we expect that most of us will have our hearts broken at least once, we even expect to get sick at some point in our lifetime. At least one of those things is guaranteed, but the rest of them are not. Due to our expectations, however, we begin to hold some of these things as a guarantee instead of a possibility.

Now I believe that whenever we expect something bad to happen and it doesn’t, there is always relief. It was a moment of stress you thought you had to face no matter what, and suddenly the entire incident is gone. Imaginary. There was nothing to worry about. It feels like a miracle and there is no greater feeling in the world. But the inverse? When something good we expect to happen does not? Well, all hell breaks loose. Our days go from great to terrible in an instant. Life is suddenly the most unfair force in the universe. Just to be clear, it always has been; it just never quite feels that way until things don’t go your way.

I’d like to clarify something now. When I say “something good,” I’m not referring to perfect birthday parties or even people keeping their promises. When I say good, I’m talking about basic things: that your car will start in the morning, that your shoes will stay tied the entire day. Things like the bus being on time or your significant other being in a good mood. These are good things that happen on a daily basis. Just because they have happened consistently without fail up to this point doesn’t mean that things won’t change tomorrow. We are all creatures of habit and history has a tendency to repeat itself, but things always going as planned or as expected is the exception, not the rule.

Keeping this in mind, imagine going through life with the expectation nothing you want to happen ever will, but everything you don’t want to happen is going to. As long as you don’t let despair settle into your soul, you will be fine. As long as you believe that you in control and capable of changing the things that are set in stone around to work in your favor, you will be fine. As long as you remember that sometimes the unexpected can be the most pleasant of surprises, then you will be fine. I don’t expect the world to be terrible. I just don’t expect it to be great. I get proven wrong each and every single day, and I am fine with that. It’s what I always hope for anyway.

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Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Just Write – Chaotic

This must be what they mean by having a peace of a mind: seeing life fall apart right in front of your eyes, but for whatever reason, it does not phase you in the slightest. You smile wide. You sleep peacefully with nothing gnawing at you in your most vulnerable of moments. Somehow, despite everything telling you otherwise, you feel that you’ll be okay.

This is my current state of being. To an extent, it is largely an exaggeration. Objectively, there is no reason to feel like this, but there are some things that would make some raise an eyebrow. Some things that are long overdue that would reduce a mere mortal to panic…like it did for me at first. It’s just, you get over things if you live long enough. You don’t care as much when you see the randomness in it all. Each action has its consequences, but cleanup is a science that has been peer-reviewed by myself across many times. I’m always able to produce similar results, so I don’t mind the wreckage as much.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the road outside of the window. The bike lane. It has been torn up for quite some time and I can see that it has been miserable. Why wouldn’t it be? It hasn’t seen love for over a month. Its entire life has been uprooted (literally) just for the sake of making it better. Sometimes improvement is chaotic. I am not that road though. I do not mind the destruction my temporary reconstruction will ensure. What’s the point of change without spending a bit of it on something a little pointless? A little time spent wasted so that the time that wasn’t feels that much more valuable.

I think it’s a small price to pay. A bit of turmoil for a little extra appreciation; I think it’s a good deal. A little poison to help along this temporary existence. We are here for less than a moment. Blink too early, and the celestial bodies above just might miss our entire life. It’s terrifyingly amusing. Plus, chaos exists to terrorize the universe on an astronomical scale. I think that fact alone earns it a special place in my heart. I think that fact alone is what helps me stay sane; that even the stars are helpless when it comes to the fleeting desires of the universe.

 

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Just Write – Equilibrium

Equilibrium. I have been searching for it. I am looking for the balance I so desperately crave and I’m thinking to myself, maybe this isn’t the season. Colorful leaves, colder temperatures, and midterms. This time is always pretty hectic. Typical of Autumn. Typical of the delicate air this late into the night. It’s just that time of year I guess.

I’ve never really known what that meant, but it helps. A reason for the slew of words pieced together haphazardly without a care in the world to exist. An explanation to the agonizing repetition I’ve noticed. Something to blame when I don’t know what even happened or why I feel the need to blame anything or anyone anyway. Just words that beg for catharsis.

Sometimes it comes. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the catharsis I need is waiting for me. 3 months ahead in the future, waiting for me where I’d least expect it to be… It all flies by too quickly now. I keep finding myself here. Here where I exist and the things that have happened do not exist. Where tomorrow doesn’t exist. Where I’m not sure if I even exist. Somewhere where we wonder when the words ever did make sense.

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Photo by David Maltais on Unsplash

Just Write – Jigsaw

I recently watched Daniel Sloss’ Netflix comedy special Jigsaw. It is less of a comedy show and more of a commentary, changing lives and making you think the way only good comedy can. I highly suggest everyone watches it, but for those who get offended easily, you have been warned.

Strip the show of its jokes and at the core, we have a conversation about the meaning of life. Sloss explains that his father taught him life is like a jigsaw puzzle without the box. We all have our pieces and we’re trying to put together an image without knowing what we’re working towards. We start with the corners, things like family, hobbies, work, or religion; we take those and begin to form who we are by creating the outline to our puzzle. Eventually, we begin to construct something stable, working closer toward the image we are trying to discover. The life-changing question that young Sloss asked his father was “what goes in the middle of the puzzle?” His father gave the same answer that America gives us as a society: your other half. Your lover. Your soul mate.

Sloss explains that we are taught from an early age that we are all broken and incomplete, and that we must find someone to make us feel whole again. Bombarded with this ideal our entire lives, we tend to force the first person we find into the center of our jigsaw puzzle, rearranging things to make them fit, moving out the things they don’t like. The thing is, these people aren’t puzzle pieces. They are people just like yourself with their own jigsaw puzzle they are trying to solve.

We all want love so badly that we shove other humans beings into our puzzle and pretend that the end result makes us happy, even if it doesn’t fit. That isn’t to say that every jigsaw with someone else in the center is wrong. For your puzzle, it might be perfect. It just might be the missing piece that you had been looking for. For most of us though? That simply isn’t true. Even if it is, it doesn’t mean it’s the piece we need when we’re trying to jam it in there.

Sloss revealed closer to the end of his special that he believes his father was right, but only partly. He believes that there is a big hole in the middle that needs to be filled, but the missing piece is different for everyone. For someone like his father, the missing piece was love. But for others, it could be a combination of little hobbies, a career, or literally anything else at all. It’s up to us to discover that. It’s up to us to realize that maybe the relationship we are in doesn’t necessarily fit our jigsaw puzzle when it would be easier for the other person to die than to break their heart for what we consider to be no good reason. No one wants to tell someone who has done nothing wrong that you just don’t love them anymore. That just doesn’t happen, but Sloss suggest that maybe it should. We’re too busy sacrificing our happiness for the fear of hurting someone else who doesn’t deserve it, and because we believe this is how love should be.

Love should be effortless. All the pieces in your puzzle should fit together seamlessly, and if they don’t? Maybe it’s time to reconsider what goes there. If we have shoved a significant other in there and kept them hostage despite wondering if this is all love is, maybe it’s time to break up. If we can’t love 100% of ourselves, then how can we expect someone else to? If you love yourself at less than 100%, and someone comes to love you a little bit more, it seems like a lot. But if you love yourself at 100%, then it’s gonna take someone pretty special to come love all of you, the good and the bad, to make you feel even happier.

If no one ever fits, maybe that’s for the best. But if you are happier alone than you are with the person you’re dating, engaged or even married to, maybe your partner piece is not the center of your jigsaw. The center of your jigsaw should be your happiness piece. Everything else will fall in place around it. But if that person that you are with isn’t it? Replace them with the things that do make you happy. Each and every one of us deserves it. Besides, there are 7.5 billion people on this planet. You’re bound to meet someone who fits into your life as perfectly as you do theirs.

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Mistakes – Idle Thoughts

Mistakes. I make them. You make them. There isn’t a single person that doesn’t make a mistake or two in their life. So why do we punish ourselves for the smallest bit of imperfection? Quitting new things altogether if we can’t catch on quick enough, or when we mess up the way people do when they try something new for the first time: always. There are exceptions to what we fuck up, but it is a rule that we will inevitably embarrass ourselves by botching something. Still, this is how we learn. Through error.

Do you remember being a child learning how to walk? Probably not, but maybe you’ve seen one try. Placing one stubby leg in front of the other, consistently and awkwardly until it falls flat on its ass. Right then and there most of us would give up. I mean obviously, it is stupid in this context. Maybe you’re thinking that you need to walk so, of course, you wouldn’t give up. But hasn’t there been so many other things that you have needed that you just decided to give up on? Maybe it was a person or a job. No, it’s never that. Those are just the means. It was yourself that you gave up on. You and your own happiness.

Don’t try to rationalize it now because you’ve already done that. You have already convinced yourself that happiness isn’t necessarily something you need, or at least it’s not worth fighting for if it isn’t easy. It might sound like I’m preaching, but honestly, these words are for myself. I get so stuck on how something is supposed to happen that I often forget to be grateful for the fact that it has happened at all. The walking? I’ve rationalized that there are people who can’t walk and they seem perfectly fine so maybe I just wasn’t meant to walk. Maybe this goal just wasn’t meant for me to reach.

I do believe there are some goals that we just aren’t meant to grasp because they give us purpose, let me be clear on that. But all of them? Each and every one unobtainable? Preposterous. So what if I can’t play the song without messing up every other note. So what if I don’t get first place in some competition. So what if I fall flat on my ass after trying to walk. If it wasn’t supposed to happen, I wouldn’t be filled with this immense desire to achieve this one goal.

Maybe things don’t always work out. But how would I know that if I wasn’t willing to fall flat on my ass? How many failures away am I from success? How many time have I ever actually failed? It’s all a learning experience anyway. Each time I fell I understood what not to do for the next time. I think as a society we’ve become so interested in the end result that we’ve forgotten just how important the journey is. It’s why I fell in love with learning in the first place. It wasn’t necessarily about the end result, although that was nice. It was about all the things I would discover on my way to some destination. I just have to be willing to get lost. I just have to be willing to fall.

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Just Write – Drifting

Ten years ago, I was 11 years old. Ten years ago, my life began to take a definitive shape. Ten years ago…it’s hard to believe it, but a lot has happened in the past ten years. I mean, it’s 10% of a century, of course a lot has happened, but sometimes it’s hard to believe. I don’t know where the rest of you were ten years ago, but I was on the south side of Chicago, either in school or sitting in my front room in front of a computer.

The internet was really beginning to take shape then. Twitter, MMOs, Myspace. Things were definitely different then. Inside of my ears right now, old music from that time is playing. A cover of Alison Sudol’s Almost Lover. Do you know it? Can you hear it? Where were you when I began to really develop my passion for words, setting the stage for the next decade? Meeting the people who I’d talk to on and off; popping in and out of their lives as indiscriminately as I check in and out of my own. Checking out of reality to escape. Getting lost in a book, movie, or maybe a TV show. The medium is irrelevant. I always loved to fantasize as a child. So is the way of people like me: Taureans if you’re into astrology; INFP if Myer Briggs is more of your thing.

I remember reading this somewhere five years ago: every five years 98% of the cells in your body are completely replaced. Every five years we are literally no longer the people we used to be. Actually, thinking about it now, maybe it’s seven years, but let’s roll with five. I am only 2% of the person I was when I discovered this. I am only .04% of the person I was ten years ago when I began to realize who I was as a person. Obviously, life isn’t like that. I don’t become a new person every few years or so just because some cells die, but it does make for an interesting explanation about change.

I’m just writing words though. A stream of unedited consciousness with no real goal beyond being something interesting to read. Maybe the words will make you think. Maybe they’ll make me think. Or maybe they’re just words and we all spend too much time reading into everything…

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